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Israel Greenlights Aleph Farms' Cultivated Beef: A Landmark in Food Technology

Cultivated Steak - Courtesy of Aleph Farms
Cultivated Steak - Courtesy of Aleph Farms

Israel Approves Sale of Cultivated Beef by Aleph Farms


In a groundbreaking development for the food industry, Israel's Ministry of Health has granted regulatory approval to Aleph Farms for the sale of cultivated beef. This decision marks a significant milestone in the field of cellular agriculture, positioning Israel at the forefront of this innovative technology.


Aleph Cuts: Pioneering the Future of Meat Production


The first product to be introduced to Israeli consumers is the cultivated Petit Steak by Aleph Farms. This product, made from non-modified, non-immortalized cells of a Black Angus cow and combined with a plant protein matrix from soy and wheat, represents a new era in meat production. Aleph Farms has yet to announce the exact date when this product will be available.


Terminology in Cultivated Meat Industry


The industry generally prefers terms like "cell-based," "cultivated," and "cultured" to describe this new form of meat production. However, a variety of other terms, including "in vitro," "artificial," "fake," "clean," and "lab-grown," have also been used.


Global Context of Cultivated Meat


In December 2020, Singapore became the first country to approve the sale of cultivated chicken nuggets by Eat Just. Meanwhile, Italy has banned cell-based meat products. In the United States, companies like Upside Foods and Good Meat have received support from the USDA for their cultivated chicken products. This global landscape indicates varying levels of acceptance and regulatory approaches to cultivated meat.


FAO and WHO Report on Food Safety of Cell-Based Food


The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) released a report in 2023 discussing the food safety aspects of cell-based food, highlighting the growing international focus on this topic.


Aleph Farms: A Leader in Cellular Agriculture


Didier Toubia, CEO and co-founder of Aleph Farms, lauded Israel's progressive stance on cellular agriculture, emphasizing its potential impact on food security, particularly in regions reliant on massive food imports like the Middle East and Asia.

Aleph Farms ensures a high level of food safety by avoiding antibiotics in production and maintaining a controlled, traceable process in an aseptic production environment, which increases transparency and reduces contamination risks.


Regulatory and Commercial Milestones Ahead


Yifat Gavriel, Aleph Farms' chief of regulatory affairs, quality assurance, and product safety, anticipates 2024 as a pivotal year for regulating and commercializing cultivated meat. The approval by Israel's Ministry of Health is contingent on specific labeling and marketing directions and the completion of a Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) inspection of Aleph Farms' pilot production facility.


Israel's Ministry of Health: Upholding Standards in Food Safety


Dr. Ziva Hamama, the director of the food risk management department at Israel’s Ministry of Health, underscored the importance of this regulatory approval in enhancing Israel's position in cellular agriculture. The approval process involved a thorough assessment of various factors, including toxicology, allergens, nutritional composition, microbiological and chemical safety, throughout the production process.


Global Implications of Israel's Decision


Bruce Friedrich, founder and president of the Good Food Institute, views this announcement as a crucial step in the global effort to produce meat more sustainably. He expressed excitement about the prospect of consumers in Israel, the U.S., and Singapore having access to these innovative products, highlighting the benefits for climate, biodiversity, and food security.


Conclusion: A New Chapter in Sustainable Meat Production


Israel's approval of Aleph Farms' cultivated beef represents a significant advancement in sustainable food technology. It not only sets a precedent for other nations but also opens the door to a future where meat production is more environmentally friendly, ethical, and safe, without compromising on taste or quality.

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